New gay style mag chases pink pound

THE women's fashion spread is a 'witty look at lesbian chic'. The celebrity interview is with Tom Hanks, who is playing the role of a homosexual in his new film. And the lifestyle column on financial advice discusses the problem for gays of making a will.

Phase is Britain's first gay style magazine, competing directly with the leaders in that market, including Arena, GQ and Esquire. The first issue, out next week, is glossy and stylish enough to have prompted W H Smith to circulate a memo to its stores telling them to display it with the other style magazines and not with the other gay and sex publications on the top shelf.

With 30 pages of advertising already booked for its second issue and 40,000 posters going up next week to advertise the first, the group of six young homosexual businessmen and women who have put pounds 500,000 into the venture are hoping that they have cracked a hitherto exclusively heterosexual market.

Peter Cummings, 32, previously set up the biggest gay publishing house in Britain, Prowler Press. Blase, the new firm he has started to publish Phase, is funded by a group of colleagues including Wanda Goldwag, director of international foreign exchange for Thomas Cook, and Ivan Massow, a financial adviser who presents the financial news on Scottish TV.

A manifesto in the first issue states: 'We gay men and lesbians do have perspectives on things ranging from film to finance to sport to anything - well, why shouldn't we? Can it be healthy for all our raw data to arrive with a het slant? We think not.'

While Mr Cummings stresses the cultural need for such a magazine - 'The UK's three million gay men and women are smart; there are sophisticated gay news and style magazines around the world, and it's about time we had one too' - one spur for the venture has undoubtedly been the change in the attitude of advertisers to homosexual publications and issues. According to Mr Cummings: 'The pink pound has never been more fiercely chased. The spending power and brand loyalty of gay consumers are not to be ignored lightly.' Smirnoff, Stella Artois and Bravo TV have all taken large displays in the first issue.

Mr Cummings says: 'The mainstream style press in this country, like the mainstream press, tends to ignore gay people. The presumption on a fashion shoot is that there's straight sexuality going on. In our magazine, when someone gives someone else a peck on the cheek it will be people of the same sex.

'But the important point is that all other gay magazines have a message of being oppressed and having problems and being arrested. Our message is that it's great to be gay, we're having a really good time, come and join the party.'

As a style and listings magazine, Phase does not seem to see its role as preaching or even concerning itself with safe sex. In the listings, next to 'the most upmarket gay men's sauna in London' are lists of Cruise Bars such as 'Britain's largest leather/rubber club', 'sleazy young discobar', 'good place to stage a pick-up' etc.

Even the film director Derek Jarman, who is dying of Aids, is upbeat and hedonistic in the first issue. He writes: 'I'll have a state funeral, send all the boys to saunas, get them suntanned so they can march on the streets of London quite naked, bronzed and good-looking. Turn the House of Commons into a back-room for the under-21s for a night. I hope boys will carry on falling in love with boys and girls with girls, and they'll find no way to change that.'

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker